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Black Notice (Scarpetta Novels) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

3.7 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition edition (7 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781405502719
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405502719
  • ASIN: 1405502711
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 13.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,267,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The postmortem is in--Black Notice, the 10th in Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series--is a gore- splattered, intensely exciting read.

As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of sombreness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tinkered with the e-mail system, stealing Kay's identity and sending off slanderous and hurtful messages. Emotionally battered, Scarpetta fears she is going insane. Or, could it be that someone is deliberately sowing this harvest of sorrow?

Despite her personal problems, Scarpetta is still the reigning diva at the department of death. She is sent to investigate the purified remains of a man found inside a container ship, "eyes bulged froglike, and the scalp and beard were sloughing off with the outer layer of darkening skin." Kay finds strange, animal-like hairs on the man's clothing--the same hairs that she discovers on a murdered store clerk a few days later. In actuality, the bizarre killings extend well beyond Virginia; whoever killed the Richmond victims also butchered people in France. Kay and police captain Pete Marino are whisked off to Paris where they must collect top-secret information from a Paris morgue, and avoid becoming victims themselves.

This macabre tome is the stuff that classic Scarpetta tales are made of: creepy but compulsive autopsy scenes, plentiful plot twists and the compelling, if slightly more vulnerable, chief medical examiner herself. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Cornwell's books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear. BLACK NOTICE is no exception (THE TIMES)

BLACK NOTICE is undoubtedly her best book for some time: not only because of some excellent scalpel work, but mainly because it is not so much about crime as about Scarpetta. (EVENING STANDARD)

She's a wonderful writer. (DAILY MAIL)

Imitators now abound, but - pathologically speaking - nobody does it like Cornwell (LITERARY REVIEW)

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The late morning blazed with blue skies and the colors of fall, but none of it was for me. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This gets three stars mainly because it was a better book than the previous one 'Point Of Origin'
This sees Scarpetta and the gang mainly dealing with the emotional fallout from that book.
as the book goes on the characters seem to lose all sense of themselves and do things which make no sense. e.g. Scarpetta's 'relationship' with the Interpol agent. This passage required utter suspension of disbelief
A big problem with this book and with the series as a whole is the character of Lucy.
The more angst and hangups the author saddles her with, the harder it becomes to like, or identify with her. She beats up her girlfriend, ignores Scarpetta for months at a time if she even looks at her wrong and treats everyone around her with nothing less than contempt, yet everyone throughout the book consistently make excuses for her and treat her as if she were a Goddess. This is one character who desperately needs a reality check. There is one passage where Scarpetta does finally let rip at her, yet this is undermined a couple of pages later by Scarpetta apologising as if 'poor' Lucy had done nothing wrong!
The story is not bad, however regular readers of Cornwell's novels won't find a lot that's new here -
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Format: Hardcover
I used to love the Scarpetta novels, especially the first few. Then Kay Scarpetta seemed to disappear up her own arse. Does this woman possess a sense of humour? My friends and family became used to hearing my screeches of anguish as I read yet another passage in which Kay makes fresh pasta or cooks some amazing stew from scratch. I thought she was supposed to be a busy woman! Now I find Cornwell's written a book called "Scarpetta's Winter Table", which appears to include a collection of recipes. Either Cornwell's got a better sense of humour than her protagonist, or she's totally gone insane. Anyway, as for Black Notice - I was relieved to find myself enjoying it, after the astonishingly anti-climatic ending of "Point of Origin", but once again, the ending left a lot to be desired. There's no interplay between heroine and villain like we used to get, just the obligatory break-in and the chase through the various rooms of the house. Ho-hum, seen it all before. Hey Patricia, how about a nice prolonged confrontation scene? Pretty please?
1 Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
I really liked the Kay Scappetta character in the first few Cornwells but then I went off her because she never seemed to learn from her mistakes. I decided to read Black Notice as it was going cheap and I was bored over Xmas. I enjoyed the book as a whole and it was a good read but I said to my husband if shes really stupid again I'll scream - so did you hear me scream ????
How can a woman whose meant to have a law degree and is over the age of 21 be so stupid as to open the front door without checking who it is knowing full well theres a mad man out there after her ? Oh really !
Please Patricia Cornwell if you do every read this stop you very good character being so incredibly thick just so she can be put in a situation of mortal danger.
I liked the book and would recommend it as a standard Cornwell read but if you dont suffer fools gladly try not to scream too loudly !
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Format: Paperback
When reading other Amazon reviewers' comments about some of Patricia Cornwell's more recent Scarpetta novels, I couldn't see how they could be right when they gave them below average or negative reviews. This book however showed me that they unfortunately were correct.

The story begins when Scarpetta is called to a crime scene where a body that has been transported from another country has been found in a storage unit. This isn't any ordinary case though as there are strange wolf-like hairs found on the body and some writing is on the wall of the unit. Just as Kay begins to think this is an isolated incident, another body turns up with the same hairs found on it. Also her pal Marino has been demoted by a new chief detective on the squad which leaves him feeling bitter and more rebellious than ever. Kay's nice Lucy is on an undercover and very dangerous assignment in Miami too, which in effect causes problems in their relationship.

Phew - this was a hard book to finish! I've always found the Scarpetta books to be fast-paced and exciting from the opening chapter, this however was incredibly slow and un-eventful. The case she was working on was very uninteresting, the characters all seemed to have been exaggerated on their most annoying flaws, which made this very difficult to enjoy. Kay in particular has became one of the most unlikeable, arrogant and petty characters I have ever came across in this one.

I just hope this was a one-off bad novel as there are a fair few more for me to get through and I have loved all of the previous books in the series so far. Overall, I would perhaps avoid this one, especially if you've not read the rest of the series.
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Format: Paperback
Could it be with this, the tenth, book in the Dr Scarpetta series that Patricia Cornwell has just begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel with both plot ideas and character progression?
I'd given the previous offering, Point of Origin, a lukewarm reception and accused Cornwell of not being able to offer Scarpetta fans anything new. For the first half of this book I was pleasantly surprised as there seemed to be a lot more pace and punch to the opening chapters. There was some great Lucy and Marino interplay and some great dialog between all the main characters. There was also an insight into how the ultra-professional and seemingly mechanical Scarpetta was hurting from the death of Bentley in the previous book. What was also great was to see another appearance of Scarpetta's nasty sister Dorothy who at the very least is great entertainment value.
Alas it then went rapidly downhill extremely quickly. The main storyline of the book is a real half baked and half produced idea of yet another motiveless serial killer. He's just thrown into the plot with no reason other than to produce another book. There's no significance and no consequence. What is even worse though is the absolutely absurd affair that Scarpetta carries out whilst in Paris. Apart from the fact it is extremely unbelievable, it is so poorly presented I would expect this style of writing and dialog more of a soap opera or Mills and Boon romance.
Finally just went I thought with the amount of pages left in my right hand there was no way this book could be brought to conclusion but would be strung over to the next one, the whole story is wrapped up in one final crazy chapter.
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